The Brave of Heart Fund was founded in May 2020 by the Foundations of Cigna and New York Life and administered by E4E Relief. It was established to provide charitable grants and emotional support services to families of frontline healthcare workers, volunteers, and support staff whose lives were lost in the fight against COVID-19. The Brave of Heart Fund continues to honor the hard work and sacrifice of healthcare workers and their families via scholarship funding for their spouses, domestic partners, and children.
The program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance, and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Eligibility for individual programs is determined at the sole discretion of the sponsor, and eligible applications are reviewed by Scholarship America’s evaluation team. Awards for this scholarship are granted to eligible recipients without regard to creed, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.
If you or your family member qualifies to apply but are not planning on attending school this academic year; please click Register Now to pre-register and receive notifications about future application cycles. The Brave of Heart Scholarship anticipates making scholarship awards through the 2026-27 school year. Pre-registering does not guarantee funding will be available when the individual applies.
Students and families who qualify for the Brave of Heart Scholarship Program may also be eligible for Frontline Families Scholarships. Learn more here.
This application is for students attending college during the 2024-2025 academic year. If will not be attending college during the 2024-2025 academic year click the Register Now button above to add your name to our email list to be notified when future applications open. If you will be attending, please verify you meet the eligibility and click Check Eligibility below to apply.
Applicants of the Brave of Heart Scholarship must:
Child is defined as a biological, step- or legally adopted child who is age 26* and under as of the application deadline date. The child must be living in the frontline healthcare worker’s household or primarily supported by the frontline healthcare worker. If the child is enrolled in a graduate school program, they must be age 26 and under and may be financially dependent or independent to be eligible.
*The Brave of Heart Scholarships is available for children who first apply and receive an award by age 26. To continue receiving scholarship assistance beyond age 26, children must then continue to apply for the Brave of Heart Scholarship (uninterrupted) and maintain continuous enrollment in their program (uninterrupted), with the exception of summer vacation.
Frontline healthcare worker is defined as a person who lived in the United States at the time of death and worked or volunteered in or for a licensed hospital, medical center or clinic, nursing home, medical transport vehicle, triage center, or other licensed medical facility, provider, or setting, or who worked or volunteered as an emergency medical technician, ambulance technician or paramedic. The individual must have had the possibility of exposure to patients with COVID-19 while working or volunteering.
Ineligible occupations include non-medical frontline workers, such as supermarket employees, delivery workers, ride-share drivers, funeral home staff, and police. Firefighters are also ineligible unless certified EMTs or paramedics. Other occupations may be ineligible and are evaluated at the sole discretion of the sponsor.
The Brave of Heart Scholarship anticipates making scholarship awards through the 2026-27 school year.
The authorized distribution for new awards will be determined annually by the Brave of Heart Fund. The total distribution and individual award amounts may vary based on funds available.
Full-time Students who demonstrate financial need may receive the lesser of the Average Cost of Attendance or the Award Amount based on degree type below.
Part-time Students who demonstrate financial need may receive the lesser of the Average Cost of Attendance or 50% of the Award Amount based on degree type below.
Type of Degree
|Undergraduate Degree: Non-Healthcare Major
|Up to $15,000 per year or $7,500 per term
|Undergraduate Degree: Healthcare (or pre-med) Major
|Up to $25,000 per year or $12,500 per term
|Graduate Degree: with Patient-facing Healthcare Major
|Up to $50,000 per year or $25,000 per term
Students who do not demonstrate financial need may receive a one-time honorarium of $5,000. Students who receive an honorarium may reapply if their financial situation changes.
Scholarship America will verify student eligibility, school and program, and calculate financial need. Determination of eligibility is at Scholarship America’s sole discretion.
The Brave of Heart Scholarship is not competitive. All eligible applicants will receive an award.
All applicants will be notified in late June. Students may reapply to the program each application cycle they meet eligibility requirements.
Scholarship America will process scholarship payments on behalf of the Brave of Heart Fund. Payment is made in one installment in August. A check made out to the college or university will be mailed to the student’s address on file. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure the scholarship check is deposited with the college or university.
As part of your application, you are required to upload the following documents:
Please Note: If you are a prior recipient of the Brave of Heart Scholarship from Scholarship America you will only need to upload a 2023 IRS Tax Form 1040 (from surviving parent) and your most recent Transcript.
Your application is not complete unless all required materials are submitted electronically.